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8 Simple Tips & Trick To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

Your car battery should last about 3 to 5 years…

But lots of people find that they need to change their car battery every 1 to 2 years.

And what can you do to prolong your car’s battery life?

We’ll show you why car batteries die early…and what you can do to prevent this from happening.

We’ll also offer you 8 simple tips and tricks to maximize the lifespan of your car’s 12 volt battery.

The tips we will teach you in this guide will be easy to do…and anybody will have the ability to do these (even if you know nothing about cars or car batteries).

So let’s get started! …

First, You Should Know That Every Car Battery Lifespan Has A Limit (but most people kill their battery well before it’s time)

Even if you take care of your car battery perfectly…it will still die one day.

This set lifespan is called the battery’s”Calendar Life” and it’s completely independent of how often the battery has been charged or discharged.

After a battery reaches the end of its”Calendar Life” it will become unusable.

But most car batteries never make it their full”Calendar Life”…

Instead, they die early due to poor maintenance and maintenance…that you can do something about.

A Little Background About Lead Acid Batteries Before Our 8 Battery Tips and Tricks…

Lead acid batteries are the earliest, most reliable, and most widely used form of rechargeable battery in the world.

  • Formatting is when the battery is new and has to be used lightly.

  • Peak is the perfect performance phase, which we attempt to maintain for as long as you can.

  • Decline is a slow process, but one that gradually ends in the termination of the battery.

Batteries in decline can still be used for quite a while, but must be watched.

Around this time, you may either recondition the battery or keep a close eye on it and try to replace it until a problem arises (like being unable to start your car for work).

8 Simple Tips To Prolong The Life Of Your Car’s Lead Acid Battery

Tip 1: Do a monthly inspection of the battery terminals to be certain they are clean and rust free.   One of the initial problems most people have with their car battery is the build-up of corrosion around the terminals.   Corrosion destroys the connection between the battery and the vehicle and many batteries are replaced because of a lot of corrosive build up.   But often times, this is easily treated simply by pouring a small amount of Cola or a DIY anti-corrosion glue (one part water to three parts baking soda) within the corroded areas. 

The acid in the Cola or the alkaline properties at the DIY anti-corrosion paste will consume the corrosion away.   After the rust is gone, use a clean damp rag or sponge to clean up the remaining residue and moisture.  Be sure to allow it to dry, then rub some petroleum jelly on the terminals to prevent future corrosion.

Tip 2: Do not operate any car accessories (radio, lights, or electronics) before turning to the car ignition and driving the car.   When the vehicle is on, the car alternator generates electricity and charges the vehicle battery after the battery has a voltage drop.   But if the car is not on, and you are using the car’s electronics, you are just relying on the car battery to power those electronic equipment. 

This is detrimental to the car battery because automobile batteries are not meant for this sort of use.

Rather, car batteries are meant to provide a sudden burst of power for ignition.  They’re not made to offer prolonged power for electronics and other devices (that’s what a deep cycle lead acid battery could be for).   Using your car battery as a battery that powers electronics, instead of a battery that just provides you a burst of power for ignition, will damage the battery and greatly shorten it’s lifespan if it’s repeatedly used in this fashion.   So avoid operating any car accessories or electronics while the vehicle is off.

Tip 3: Make sure the car battery is safe and has great battery wires.   The battery needs to be secured at all times.  If a battery is jostling around it’ll be impaired and might short circuit.   This may ruin the battery and even damage your car while creating a safety risk.   The same could happen when you have bad battery cables (or they’re not connected properly).  So check your cables and be sure they have a secure connection as well.

Protecting your car battery from large changes in temperature will help maximize the battery’s lifespan.   To do this you can use a car battery insulation kit.   Newer model cars currently have these kits installed typically.  But if your car does not have one, you can easily set up one yourself.   Just be certain it matches your car’s battery compartment.  Generally the companies selling these battery insulation kits will have a form on their site where you can place in your car model and year, and it’ll tell you if your battery will match their kit — such as here (top of page).   These protective battery sleeves are typically made of plastic or an acid resistant, thermal resistant material.   These car battery insulation kits will insulate your battery and guard it while still allowing proper ventilation.

Tip 5: Fully control your car battery at least once a week (use a car battery charger or interchange batteries if you have to).   Your car battery drains even when the vehicle is off.  That happens because current is drawn from the battery by car accessories (radio, lights, etc.) or even the car computers.   This is why people come home from long vacations and locate their car battery dead.  

Car battery chargers (solar or regular ) will maintain the optimum charge level of your car battery when the vehicle is not being used.   They do this by providing enough power for your car accessories and car computer, so they don’t continuously draw current from the car battery when the car is off.   As you can imagine, these chargers are very useful…especially if you go on a trip or leave your car unused for some time.  They’re also useful if you go on a lot of short car trips (like to work and back daily ) and never give your battery a chance to fully recharge.  Repeatedly doing so can dramatically enhance your battery’s life — unless you use a car battery charger or interchange batteries, leaving you at home to fully control.   The most important thing to remember with this tip is…make sure you fully charge your car battery at least once a week because it will greatly increase the life of your battery.  Do this with a charger, interchanging batteries…or simply going on a car ride long enough to recharge the battery.

Tip 6: Assess your car battery’s water level.   Most car batteries indicate if there’s a need for water.   So check the car battery water level indicator frequently and if water is needed, refill the battery with distilled water (and that is important, ONLY use distilled water to refill your car battery).

Tip 7: Do NOT overcharge your car battery.   Never overcharge your car battery. Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen and oxygen gases when they’re overcharged.   This causes two problems:

  1. It can be volatile.

Tip 8: Assess your vehicle’s alternator.   If you’re doing everything we’ve recommended in this article but your car batteries are still dying early, you will want to look at your car’s alternator (or find a mechanic to check it).   If your alternator is bad it will results in ineffective recharging of your battery and dramatically shorten your battery’s lifespan.